One of the main benefits of the Microsoft .Net development platforms use of processor- independent byte code is easy program portability.
The first fruits of this benefit are now available to Pocket PC developers, who can use a Technology Preview release of .Net Compact Framework to write .Net applications for Windows CE-based PDAs and phones. (No such phones are shipping yet.) Apps can be written using the same source code base used for any existing (Windows-based) .Net applications.
.Net Compact Framework includes a .Net just-in-time compiler and run-time environment for Windows CE devices (versions for about 20 CPUs are provided), plus a subset of the .Net Framework that includes most APIs used for client/server development.
The Technology Preview is early code: Although its hosted in Visual Studio .Net, there are no graphical forms builders yet. These will come by the final release in mid-2002. Also, .Net programs I tested on a Compaq iPaq Pocket PC ran quite sluggishly. I was able to run sample applications (including one that accessed a Web service I deployed on a Windows server box) both on the included Pocket PC emulator and on real Pocket PC hardware.